Located along the Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway, Lake Carina offers trails, a wheelchair accessible fishing pier, toilets and parking at its main entrance on Milwaukee Avenue. Anglers can fish from the pier or from shore. There is no launch at this main preserve entrance.
A second entrance to the north near Grand Avenue provides access to the Des Plaines River Trail and a canoe launch along the river.
A short trail provides walk-in access from Milwaukee Avenue and connects the parking area with the fishing pier. A 1-mile mowed grass trail encircles the lake and is ideal for hiking and nature observation, and cross-country skiing. Please keep dogs leashed and on trails at all times, and pick up after them. Learn about our off-leash Dog Parks (permit required).
A Des Plaines River canoe launch is separate from the rest of Lake Carina with its own entrance adjacent to Gurnee's Gowe Park at McClure Avenue and O'Plaine Road just south of Grand Avenue (Route 132). If you put your canoe in here, the next Forest Preserve ramp is at the Independence Grove Canoe Launch, 5.1 miles downstream.
The launch area offers access to the river, shoreline fishing, a trail connection to the Des Plaines River Trail, and public parking.
A popular fishing hole and former gravel pit, the preserve's main feature is the 23-acre Lake Carina. Anglers can cast for bluegill, northern pike, largemouth bass, perch and white crappie. Lake Carina is stocked by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The lake is surrounded by woodlands and open fields. The preserve also features a pond, wetlands and a stream named Stoneroller Creek.
Birdwatchers may find belted kingfishers, eastern kingbirds, yellow warblers, northern orioles and several types of herons.
The main entrance is on the east side of Milwaukee Avenue (Route 21), between Washington Street and Belvidere Road (Route 120).
A second entrance to the north provides separate access to the Des Plaines River Trail and a canoe launch along the river adjacent to Gurnee's Gowe Park at McClure Avenue and O'Plaine Road just south of Grand Avenue (Route 132).
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